Our team has a lot of experience in setting up new charities across the whole spectrum of sub-sectors and in a range of legal forms. We can guide you through the start-up process from helping you to analyse whether a charity is right for you, through deciding on the most suitable legal structure and establishing the charity, to completion of the registrations with the Charity Commission and with HMRC.
Social media and the ease of online publishing means that reputation management is an increasingly important consideration for charities.
It is increasingly common for disgruntled individuals, employees and competitors to cross the line, making comments or taking action that is inaccurate or unlawful. Our experience allows us to advise on the most appropriate form of resolving a dispute, from urgent injunction applications to amicable resolution through mediation.
Our knowledge of the charities sector is critical when it comes to preparing commercial contracts and resolving commercial contract disputes. It means that the legal advice and support that you receive is relevant to your needs and will be better value for you.
Information is a vital asset to many charities and managing it well is an obvious strategic aim, but it can also pose risks if it is not properly managed.
We help charities to understand the scope and extent of their legal and regulatory obligations in relation to the data and information they hold, as well as bespoke training to support our clients on the practicalities of information management. We also offer an audit service which can identify key areas of risk.
Whilst litigation through the courts is a costly option for resolving disputes, there are many other methods of alternative dispute resolution available including negotiation, adjudication, expert determination, mediation and arbitration. These can often can be quicker, cheaper and more collaborative than traditional litigation.
We provide a comprehensive range of legal support for our charity clients in relation to their employees and volunteers. This includes a combination of policies, procedures and training for those involved in recruitment to help reduce the legal risks that may arise. Where there is an employment dispute, we can guide you through the process and be proactive in managing tribunal claims.
Being able to source and secure funding is vital to the operations of a charity, but can be challenging. Whether you are a grant-making charity making grants to further charitable aims, or a charity looking to undertake a capital project or support its cash-flow requirements, we can guide your trustees through the issues and legal duties to consider.
Fundraising is a key topic for the third sector, with attention from regulators and the media being devoted to charity fundraising practices. With new legislation and regulatory requirements, it is more important than ever for charities participating in fundraising to ensure that they fully understand the new framework.
Effective charities depend upon good governance and good governance is as essential to the success of the charity sector as it is to corporate UK.
We ensure that the impact of the regulatory regime to which a charity is subject informs all of the advice that we give, from day-to-day advice on employment and property issues through to major strategic decision about mergers and restructuring.
Many charities advance their charitable purposes by making grants to both charitable and non-charitable organisations.
With ever increasing funding issues in the third sector, grant making charities are seeing an increased rise in grant applications. Whether a small or large grant making charity, it will be important to ensure that you are complying with your legal and regulatory obligations in respect of your activities, in particular, in respect of the provision of grants to non-charitable organisations.
Many charities benefit from bequests and for some, a large bequest can change the future of the charity. We help charities if they encounter issues during the administration of an Estate, for example, due to poor drafting of the Will, the charity has merged since the date the Will was made, or as a result of challenges from others claiming an entitlement to the Estate.
We are experienced at guiding charities through strategic change and have a number of key guidance documents for all types of project. We will meet with you to help you plan the best route to your objectives and assess the critical path and key risks.
EU public procurement and state aid issues are a challenge for many charities. Our experience covers day to day advice through to structuring major projects under competitive dialogue or other procedures. We advise on framework agreements (set up and call off), dynamic purchasing systems and concession contracts.
The wide range of work we do for charities in relation to their real estate reflects the wide range of strategic objectives that they have. Understanding charity law and regulation as it applies to real estate is obviously essential, but we use both our charity sector knowledge and our experience in the commercial sector to ensure that our clients receive the best advice.
Safeguarding has been identified by the Charity Commission as one of the three key strategic risk areas prioritised in its latest risk framework.
Our clients look to us for legal advice and support which reflects the requirements and expectations of the Charity Commission and any other regulator with oversight of what they do. This can range from support on day to day operational compliance through to advice on the big strategic decisions that trustees are sometimes faced with and where there is likely to be a regulatory interest in the outcome.
Charities are able to benefit from a range of tax reliefs and exemptions, but there are strict rules applicable in order to claim (and continue to claim) such reliefs and exemptions. Our tax specialists are able to support charities to understand the scope of their tax liabilities in the context of particular activities and to ensure that no unexpected liabilities arise.
VAT is a particularly complex area for charities and our tax specialists are able to guide you through the VAT framework, allowing you to understand how VAT may affect you charity's operations and activities.
Many charities will carry out trading activities to generate and income for their charity. Whether that is trading which directly advances the charity's purpose or non-primary purpose trading, we can assist charities to structure their trading activities appropriately and to find the right balance between risk and reward within the legal and tax framework.